Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

'We want the best players to play for England- if they're not in the Prem, they're not able to'

By Josh Raisey
Maro Itoje of England embraces teammate Owen Farrell following the team's defeat during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between England and South Africa at Stade de France on October 21, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

England Rugby appear to be on the brink of entering a new era with hybrid contracts and with that comes a lot of uncertainty, but Owen Farrell believes the players should focus on what goes on on the pitch.

ADVERTISEMENT

As far as the fly-half is concerned, his job is to play rugby and he puts his trust in those in the background being able to thrash out a deal that is in the players’ best interests. While the 112-cap England international concedes that the players have an idea of what they want, the players are not the ones who are working out the details of these potential new deals.

Just weeks after captaining England to a bronze medal a the Rugby World Cup, where the current situation would have no doubt been discussed amongst the squad, Farrell stressed that the players will have an input in the proceedings. Players are no longer “scared” of saying what they think, according to Farrell, as we wait to see what unfolds over the coming weeks and months.

Video Spacer

Jesse Kriel on South Africa school rugby and the secrets to Rassie’s tactics | Gits and Genia

Video Spacer

Jesse Kriel on South Africa school rugby and the secrets to Rassie’s tactics | Gits and Genia

The 32-year-old is set to miss the upcoming Six Nations after deciding to step away from international rugby to prioritise his mental health. Nevertheless, he is one player who has been linked with a central RFU contract. But for now Farrell’s focus seems to be on Saracens as they begin their Investec Champions Cup campaign this weekend.

“I think as players, you have ideas,” he said at the launch of the new Champions Cup season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium recently.

“You’d think and you obviously hope that there’s lot of work going on in the background that works a lot of things out that you don’t quite understand. I think, as a player, we come back and we get straight back into playing. We don’t sit there and work out a programme best built for us going forward.

“I think the players now are not scared of giving their opinion. They’re not scared of saying what they think. So I think going forward this is now an interesting time in terms of [hybrid contracts], but I’m sure the players will have an input.”

ADVERTISEMENT

England has seen the gradual trickle of players moving to the Top 14 pick up more and more momentum over the last year, influenced heavily by the decline of Worcester Warriors, Wasps and London Irish.

While Racing 92’s Henry Arundell is still eligible to play for England due to ‘special circumstances’ after London Irish went bust last season, other players in the league such as Stade Francais’ Joe Marchant, Toulon’s David Ribbans and Toulouse’s Jack Willis (after he signed a new deal at Toulouse) are not. With some of the biggest English starts in the Gallagher Premiership being linked with moves to France, the idea of a version of the ‘Giteau Law’ is being bandied about. Farrell was fairly forthright with his view on any changes to the England eligibility criteria.

He said: “We want the best players to play for England, and if they’re not in the Prem at the moment they’re not able to play for England. That’s as simple an answer as can be.”

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

6 Comments
H
Huw 229 days ago

The refusal of the RFU and the Premiership bosses to allow England players to ply their trade abroad should be illegal and should be fought in law. This is a restrictive practice that wouldn't be allowed in the EU… but … oh dear.

C
Colin 230 days ago

Yet quite a number of players picked for England the past 10 years or so have NOT been the best players in the Premiership. Certainly 8 of the RWC2023 squad were lesser players than Premiership counterparts.

C
Chris 230 days ago

Because everyone knows that the Prem is the best of all championship right?… right???

t
the real d 230 days ago

Yoo hoo….Niggle where are you?

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

T
Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

2 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING What Scott Robertson made of Billy Proctor's All Blacks debut Scott Robertson on Billy Proctor's Test debut
Search